Barry Trotz

Barry Trotz going for win No. 500 tonight


Tonight’s game against St. Louis is a fairly big one for Barry Trotz. His Predators could clinch their third straight playoff berth with a single point and, if Nashville wins outright, Trotz will record the 500th victory of his career.

That’s no small feat for the first and only head coach in Predators history. By getting 500 wins all with the same club, Trotz would join some pretty elite company, as only four coaches have ever hit that mark with one team: Al Arbour (New York Islanders), Lindy Ruff (Buffalo Sabres), Billy Reay (Chicago Blackhawks) and Toe Blake (Montreal Canadiens).

Trotz was his usual understated self when discussing the record.

“Hopefully, we can win one more game at some point,” he told The Tennessean. “I haven’t thought about it a lot. It will be a cool thing when it does happen, but I haven’t thought about it a lot.”

Other notes about Trotz (eventually) joining the 500 club:

— He’ll become just the 17th coach in NHL history accomplish the feat and, with six games left in the season, could move as high as 15 on the list. Blake currently sits in 16th with 500 wins and Pat Burns is 15th, with 501.

— Trotz would become the fourth active coach to hit 500 (Ruff, Ken Hitchcock and Joel Quenneville are the others.)

— At one point this season, there were five active 500-win coaches…but then Jacques Martin and Ron Wilson got fired.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: